Saturday, February 22, 2014

Oliver visits The Quilt Show... kinda

Some of you may have noticed over there -------------------------->
on the sidebar is a new graphic for Oliver.  In case you're on the mobile app, it looks like this:

The Quilt Show created an awesome magazine presentation of Oliver and the steps I took in making him during the week-long retreat with Sharon Schamber.  If you are a member of their site it was the newsletter/blog post for February 18, 2014 titled Step By Step with Karen Marchetti -- if you're not a member of their site, you should really consider becoming one.  The really coolest part of this presentation?  Well, there are a couple of really cool things -- you can zoom in on the photos, like crazy zoom, and you can click on a little audio clip of me talking about what's going on in that picture -- crazy cool huh?!!

And like I've said a million times (no exaggeration) -- if you have the chance to take a class with Sharon -- DO IT!

Stay tuned for more awesome and exciting news on The Quilt Show in the next few days... I CAN'T WAIT!

If you're new here, or if you don't remember all of the retreat stuff (most of it was on the other blog), as well as everything else Oliver, here are the many links - feel free to check them at your leisure, or not (I tend to type-babble as well as talk-babble)... hehehe.

Friday, February 21, 2014

WIP Inventory...

Yep, it is time for a Work In Process Inventory.  I've got so much going on and so many future plans that I need to write them all down.  And what better place to write them than here!  You all keep me on my toes and make me accountable for finishing so here goes:

True Colors - This quilt is sooooooo close to being finished, it just needs to be quilted, and SOON!  It has a super special place to be in August.  It is actually first on the as soon as possible list.  I love this quilt and it was a lot of fun... really... if I say it enough it just might be true!  Haha, I exaggerate (seriously, you don't say).  The center is a mexican pinwheel from Marsha McCloskey's book Feathered Star Quilt Blocks I - Really Hard Blocks That Take a Long Time To Make.  She was not exaggerating, nor was she lying - that pinwheel took forever, and I still had to hand applique the lemoyne center as I could not get it to work.  Difficult yes but still beautiful nonetheless.  I have to add a quote of mine from a previous post as it's just too funny (true) not to share twice!

It is not a masterpiece, there are quite a few things wrong with the star -- hey, Marsha did warn me on the cover of the book with her statement of "really hard blocks that take a long time to make" -- she was not kidding - it really should have said Karen, you've got attention problems, can't follow directions, and don't always read the entire pattern, this is NOT the book for you.  And to be honest, I never finished the block her way -- the center lemoyne is hand-appliqued because after three tries it still didn't work right!  

I then added some borders, and additional diamond elements yet I felt it was still lacking something.  What you ask, more hand applique of course!  I decided to add a gazillion (more like 88) little 3/4" circles to the outer border.  Why?  Because it looked super cool in my mind!  Here's an older post on that in case you want to catch up.

So I have to share how this quilt was named.  Here comes that painful truth part, another share from a previous post:

Also during all that circling the mexican pinwheel was named True Colors.  I was working on making circles one night and it just happened to be after notifications of a quilt show and I was on facebook reading some "not-so-nice" comments.  Most people were congratulating others, but there were a few that weren't so joyful.  They weren't vicious, just not very nice, almost making the point that the quilts that were accepted were somehow less significant than others.  More like referencing that, but not actually saying it kind-of-thing.  So during all that "commotion" I kept saying wow, some people are really showing their true colors... hopefully my true colors never get that nasty shade of green!

This quilt has had the honor of being in the WIP Inventory more than once... yes, it is THAT old!  I discussed *thinking about* the quilting design back in June of 2013... oh my... that's awful!  No worries, it will be done, and soon!

Dance in the Rain - Where to start... all the strata are made.  Well, not all the strata.  All the strata for the kaleidoscope part.  Me, I'm now thinking an amazing strata-fied border as well!  What, that just means this beauty will stay in the WIP inventory just a little longer! This one was also in the last inventory, although I have worked on it a little, the kaleidoscope part is really starting to show.

I have such great plans for this beauty... time (or the lack of) is my only nemesis right now. I guess I should tell you about how it came to be.  My friend Marian was having a guild workshop on Ricky Tims Kaleidoscope quilts, and, of course, I had to sign up.  Well, if you know anything about me, you know I can't follow the normal - I must stray and create my own way.  Every one of my strata range from .5" up to 1.25" strips of a 9-level gradation of hand dyed fabrics.  I also added a creamy muslin and will also add black (that comes later as part of the great plans) -- the eye really needs a place to rest and the muslin provides that ever so slightly.

Arachne's Dauntless Spin - Not a whole lot has happened over here!  The only new item here is I finally found the lemon yellow dupioni!  And I didn't even find it -- Natalie found it at Houston while shopping - I was too busy at the Gammill booth to really shop - thank goodness for friends!  So at the least I'll share the latest picture of the fabrics - we've got steel grey, olive green, lavenderish purple, the bronze reflects the purple, lemon yellow, cream, and white.  You can read the original post here which tells the short version of how the name came about.  My plan for this quilt has it at about 88" square.  Not sure if I'm liking that or not, everyone that has seen the plan thinks GO BIG... me, still not convinced.  Stay tuned on this one, something is bound to happen sooner or later!

Still Un-Named Wonder - Yep, this wonderful little quilt to be is still un-named.  That's awful I know, but I've got nothing!  I've worked on it here and there, making little messes all over the studio, but nothing really constructive -- just lots of pieces.  I think it might be those two prints that are throwing me off... you know me and prints - ahhhhh!

Now don't get me wrong, these are just the WIP.  I have finished a few things as well!  I'll share more about those projects in another post.  All this unfinished quilty business is leaving me a little depressed... and wanting to tackle something - True Colors (soon)!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

PSLCQ 2014 Quilt Show Day 3

The last day of the quilt show was really yesterday, but I'm just getting around to writing this today (I was a tired girl)!

I spent my last day of the show in Susan's Wholecloth Painted Botanical class -- super fun!  Yes, I've painted on fabrics before, many times, but you are never too old/smart/experienced/whatever to learn a new technique.  I always say the day you know it all is the day you are done.  ALWAYS keep learning, it exercises your brain muscle!

Susan had four patterns for us to choose from - I chose the pansy for my project.  It was supposed to be a little surprise for my Mom, she has millions, no, I lie, maybe 40 African violet plants and not one has a bloom.  I was planning to send her my finished project and tell her to hang it near the violets, perhaps the purple pansy will inspire the violets to bloom!

So here goes:

I was getting a little anxious as I was painting because the paint was reacting a different way than my brain was expecting it too (those darn brains can be such pains sometimes).  This was my first time using translucent fabric paints.  My friend Marian said it perfectly (because I can never find my words when I'm over in right-brain land) - I had to learn how the paint behaved before I could use it comfortably.  Perfect!  And Susan is a fantastic teacher, she was offering suggestions and asking me great questions in trying to figure out what my stresses with the paint were.  Once we figured it out, my little stresses went away, and it was even more fun!  I truly love the learning *roller coaster* -- you have the ups and downs, and when the ride is finally over, it was great!

I didn't finish my project in class, I probably could have if it weren't for the chatting, giggling, learning, sharing, questions, answers, and all the other amazing parts of the day that make a class great!  I did finish up my flower last night.  I still have the leaves to fill in, most probably later today.

I can't wait to finish, quilt, and then discover my next project using these paints.  Now that my stresses are gone, I'm thrilled and my little creative genius has been running around thinking of other amazing things!

Again, if you haven't already, please take the time and visit Susan's website.  She has an awesome gallery and many free bits of information -- loads of talent in that lady -- I am so glad I was able to meet and spend three creative-filled days with her!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

PSLCQ 2014 Quilt Show Day 2

Another busy fun amazing day!

My day started with quilt appraisals.  After that was a lecture with Susan Brubaker Knapp called Point, Click, Quilt.  What a great lecture and such amazing pieces she brought for a trunk show, I'll share just a few.

Amazing right?!!  If you ever get a chance to take one of her classes, lectures, workshops, anything, do so - you will not be sorry.

Then my day turned into white-glove land.  Yep, had my three hours of glove duty showing off some really amazing quilts.

The day ended with an evening class on hand embroidery.  FUN!  More amazing samples -

And here's a couple peeks at my project:

Another great day... tomorrow is an all-day painting class - can't wait!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

PSLCQ 2014 Quilt Show Day 1

You've heard me talk about the show, you've seen the guild's awesome raffle quilt.  I have my tickets!  Did I mention tickets... this quilt has been a record ticket seller, and when I say record I really mean RECORD!!!  It was made by a few guild members and I did the quilting.  In case you are totally in the dark about this, check the website here!

Here is the amazing raffle quilt just in case you can't remember:

Well really it is Day 2 of the show for some of us, yesterday was set-up and awards ceremony.  But today was the official first day.  Here's a couple of pics of set-up day...

So today, I spent all day in a Susan Brubaker Knapp workshop - Paint and Stitch Peacock Feather. Make sure to check out her website -- great classes and lots of info!  And today she made the announcement that she will be the new host for Quilting Arts TV!  Awesome news -- congratulations Susan!!  Anyway, the class was loads of fun, loads of information, and I can't wait to take everything and utilize it in a future project!

Here's my day in pics:

Tomorrow is another busy day, hopefully I won't be too tired to tell you all about it!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ask Me #1

Recently on my facebook pages I posted this:

I got a bunch of questions.  Good ones, ones that would be better answered in person where I could use my arms and you would understand much better, and others that really need a long, detailed answer with photos.

Oh, and the pretty cool... that's coming up later.  I'll share when I can (you know that)!

So, back to the questions, I promised I would answer some of those questions here on the blog.  So today's lucky question goes to:

Great question!  Now please remember that my answers to these questions are just that... mine.  They do not necessarily mean that is the ONLY answer, it's just the way I do, or would do, something, and they are totally my opinion, there are probably a million other opinions on the same subjects.  So with that being said...

There are a lot of factors that determine "enough" quilting whether for a bedcover or a show quilt.  Time, cost (if it were client work), what the quilt actually needs, etc.  People tend to think that bed quilts need less quilting than show quilts.  I beg to differ.  Show quilting is a totally different breed than bed quilts.  Show quilts are rolled, packed with tissue paper, bubble wrapped, and generally babied as they tend to be of high value.  Bed quilts, well, they are meant to be used, loved, thrown in the washer and dryer, and generally abused.

I'm going to share some pictures (and thoughts) on one of my early quilts.  It was a BOM sampler and used high-quality quilt shop fabrics.  It was finished in 2005 - well at least that is what the label tells me -- wow, have I come a long way with my  labels - they are so much cooler now!

In the following picture you'll get a general idea of the quilting in the block areas -- simple quarter-inch echo of the basic shape.  Not much quilting right?  Well look how saggy all that unquilted fabric is.  What you probably can't see in the picture is how thin (abused) that same fabric is.  You'll notice the red setting triangles, they are a medium meander, and they aren't sagging so bad now are they?

Again, the unquilted areas show major signs of wear and tear.

Look at the difference in this photo -- the unquilted area (beige) again saggy, loose, and thin.  The meandered fabric is holding up much better.

And of course, saving the best (or worst) for last -- the areas with more quilting survived and wore much better than the large unquilted spaces.

Now remember, this was (still is) a bed quilt -- it spent probably 5 years on my bed and was washed weekly.  No special love, it was made to be used.  Hindsight being 20/20 I would have quilted the crap out of this! If it were a seasonal-only quilt -- you know, used only at Christmas -- it would probably still be as beautiful as the day I finished it, but with all that use it has seen better days.  No worries, it still gets used on those rare chilly nights here in Florida when you need an extra quilt or two.

Don't forget, send me questions and I'll do my best to answer some!  I'm kinda' having some fun with this!